Monthly Archives: May 2019

Forgive Quickly–Life is Short

At the risk of losing a couple of subscribers like the last time I wrote on this controversial topic, I’m going to ask for your grace. Now stick with me, this is a short post, and if you are a subscriber and comment, you can win three books that will be perfect for your summer vacations. Each book takes place in a coastal state and deal with this topic in some way. They are Still Waters by Lindsey Bracket, The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson, and The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck.

So what is this scary topic? Forgiveness. All of these stories require a character to extend grace in difficult circumstances. In our real lives, forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things we are called to do, but we should forgive quickly even when the person has not apologized. Jesus taught all we need to know about forgiveness.

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22. Y’all know I don’t do math, and even I know that’s a lot of times, but sometimes that’s what it takes.

I love that Jesus doesn’t give any other instructions–simply just keep forgiving. In my experience when the topic of forgiveness comes up, everyone has their own thoughts on how forgiveness should look. They often include conditions about not forgetting the wrong or letting an unapologetic person know that he has been forgiven. But that’s not what the Bible teaches us, so why do we think we get to create our own versions of forgiveness? Sorry if I’m stepping on your toes. Never fear, I’m stepping on mine as well. I think that’s one of the reasons Jesus says to forgive so many times, eventually we will do it with a pure, loving heart.

I think forgiving others is one of the ways we can truly feel the Holy Spirit working within us. We can’t do this on our own. Grace is against our human nature, but y’all, it is so good for us.

Forgiveness produces a compassionate heart, while unforgiveness fosters bitterness.

“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18.

As we learn to forgive quickly and unconditionally, we draw closer to the Lord. Our hearts can find peace and joy because we know God is faithful. Although it is often difficult to understand why he doesn’t punish wrongdoers or save us from their wrath, we can be thankful that he shows us the same mercies.

Friends, “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.

Life is too short to seek vindication and too long not to show grace.

How has someone shown you grace?

Is there a book or movie that you love about forgiveness?

Why is forgiveness important to you? How do you do it?

Tell me your thoughts or favorite quotes or a bible verse. Subscription to this site and a comment on this post or last week’s will enter you in the three book Summer Reading Giveaway. Only for USA readers. I can’t wait to hear from you on the website.

Thank You

           I learned an important lesson from Kelsea Ballerini, and it wasn’t that I miss me more. For those of you wrinkling your brow, Kelsea Ballerini is a country music singer and her tour and one of her songs is called Miss Me More.  We took my daughter and a couple of her friends to the concert for her 15th birthday. During the concert, the words, “Thank You,” appeared in bright, bold letters over the backstage wall, and Kelsea thanked the audience for their support. I’m sure this happens at a lot of concerts, but it struck me that although it is a such a simple thing, really just two small words, we don’t do it nearly enough or say it with enough enthusiasm. We have so much to be thankful for, and for me, I want to say thank you to all of the people who have supported me not only on this writing journey but also in my life.

Last week, I needed six more followers on my Facebook author page to reach 500, but y’all, my friends blew that goal by over fifty in less than twenty-four hours. My agent figured out that in one year, the subscribers to this website increased by over 1400 percent. (Y’all know I don’t do math.) Wow! I am so thankful for each one of you. God has blessed me with you, and I hope I can be a blessing to you, even if it’s just a sweet story that makes you smile.

So often, we take for granted God’s blessings, even see them as burdens, but we are called to do everything, whether in word or deed in the name of our Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col. 3:17) How often do you pause and thank God for the work he has assigned to you? When we focus on being thankful, our perspective will be transformed. We will find blessings in the mundane and the routine. When we take account of all of our blessings, our frustrations lose their hold on us. We may even learn to be thankful for setbacks and struggles.

Last summer, I got the results of a writing contest that I lost. For whatever reason, this loss hit me hard and made me doubt my future as a writer. In an effort to get perspective, I spoke all of the things I had to be thankful for as I drove carpool and completed chores. Somewhere in one of those rides in the car, the Contemporary Christian radio station I was listening gave the verse of the day.  It was Phillipians1:6. “Be confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion.” There it was—a little whisper from God, and I said a big thank you.

With gratitude comes an understanding of God’s blessings and how He is faithful to His promises. Our hearts can seek to follow His truths knowing He will faithfully lead us.

Gratitude is a game changer. “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.” (2 Thes. 1:3)

Imagine how much better the world would be if we saw the people in our lives as gifts from God, even the ones that frustrate you. At least if we’re searching for reasons to be thankful, we won’t be grumbling. Your words of thanksgiving could be the very thing that encourages someone else. Don’t let us miss an opportunity to tell someone thank you. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be THANKFUL.” (Col. 3:15)

Who are you thankful for? Why? What amazing person has blessed you with something that makes you want to exclaim thanks in bright, bold letters?

I’d love to hear from you. Be sure you are subscribed to my website and comment on this post, and you will be entered in a giveaway for three books. (Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett, The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck, and The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson.) Giveaway limited to USA.